Chief Justice Bart Katurebe

The Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has suspended all court hearings and proceedings for a period of 32 days with effect from March 20, 2020.

The suspensions follow the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic.

Yesterday President Yoweri Museveni ordered for closure of all teaching institutions, Churches, bars in a bid to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus. Currently Uganda has no confirmed case of the Wuhan virus. The virus is currently spread to over 160 countries. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, the virus has claimed 8,648 people and 207,855 confirmed to have tested positive.

According to directives, Katureebe said prisoners and suspects on remand will not be presented to Court and where possible, proceedings will be conducted via a video link.

 “All execution proceedings are here by suspended for the same period of time except where attainment has already taken place. For the cases at stage of submission, the respective Courts may advise counsels to file written submissions.” He said

He said Courts will continue to handle certificates and taking plea for serious cases and bail applications, “Only the applicant and his lawyers or in case of bail application, sureties will be allowed in court.”

During this time, judicial officers will continue being on duty however, there will be no open court appearance. Judicial officers with pending judgement will use this period to finish them and where possible judgments will be issued to parties online or via email.

All conferences, workshops, meetings and training programs, local foreign have also been suspended for a period of 32 days and there shall not be foreign travel for all judicial staff save for exceptional circumstances.

In addition, Katureebe said sanitizers and other prevent measures have already been put in place. Digital thermometers are also being purchased and will be deployed at various court premises.